- Sep 13, 2011
- First Name
I agree with most of your points but disagree on the point that it is about cars.com. It is about cars.com - at this moment.The issue was never Cars.com.
Everyone does this, so the issue should be 'how do 3rd party sites use dealers inventory'. Dealers should ask to have clear contracts about the sites where the inventory would be used. So by Cars.com offering a choice the entire issue falls apart.
My argument has been that we need to give inventory a value and a copyright so it can be legally controlled. Feeds are nothing... you can scrape the data anyway, make up inventory, etc.
Are others doing it? Of course. Does that excuse Cars? Hell no!
Of the two main players in the classified automotive space, it appears that the more egregious of the two against dealers is cars.com. The other one should get a spanking too, but to my knowledge they do not farm out inventory that gets fed back into your crm as their lead like cars.com does with cargurus and web2carz.com sites, and they didn't send our prospects emails to prospects enticing them to visit competitor inventories. And they don't claim SRPs and VDPs that come from other sites (again, to my knowledge).
By making an example to the most offensive of the two giants, small and mid-sized dealers make a bold statement to "watch your ass, and don't take us for granted" to any other would be abusers.
I've already started a conversation with our AT rep (and at the AT booth at DD14) about how much of a slap in the face it is to have competing companies on our VDP for financing and how F&I are what helps keep us profitable and keeps the doors open. Cars.com goes a step further and quotes rate and payment from Roadwhores.
I told our cars.com reps in an email that what they are doing is equivalent to us placing a full page ad in a newspaper, who then distributes that same ad to their sister newspapers with boxes next to our inventory photos with text that says "Bad Deal" and then they place a box on the ad that says "Finance your next car with Roadwhores with rates of 1.9 - it is a better option for you than getting financed at the dealership".
I wrote that and much much more in my cancellation email to cars.